How will architects be educated in 20 years' time? Building Futures launch 'Think Piece' Programme

Building Futures, the think tank of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today launched 'Think Pieces', a series of articles in which key experts and innovators from across the built environment industry are invited to share their personal viewpoints on the future of urban areas and the factors that influence their development.

The inaugural topic for 'Think Pieces' is entitled 'How Will Architects be Educated in 20 years' time' and follows up on the some of the issues raised by the Building Futures report 'The Future for Architects?' released last year.

The first set of think pieces looks at what the architect might need to become in 20 years' time, and the implications for education. They envisage a world in which spatial agents are educated to bespoke requirements, where the notion of the 'profession' has evolved to embrace pan-professional collaboration and research, or where specific specialisms are nurtured and fortified with business expertise.

Contributors to this cohort of Building Futures 'Think Pieces' are:

  • Jeremy Till
    Appointed to be Head of Central St Martins College of Arts and Design, University of the Arts, a position he will take up in August 2012
  • Sebastian Macmillan
    Course Director for the masters programme: Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment at the University of Cambridge
  • Steve McAdam
    Architect: founder and director of Fluid
  • Ruth Reed
    Professor Ruth Reed is the Immediate Past President of the RIBA and Course Director PGDip Architectural Practice (Part III) at Birmingham School of Architecture, BIAD, Birmingham City University
  • Dominic Wilson
    Dominic Wilkinson is a senior lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University. He is President of the Liverpool Architectural Society and Chair of the North West region RIBA education committee

Each contributor will present their personal and often controversial viewpoints on how architects will be educated in the future on the Building Futures website

RIBA Head of External Affairs Anna Scott-Marshall said:

'We are pleased that once again Building Futures is asking some of the challenging, thought provoking and often controversial key questions about the future of architecture and the profession. One of the main benefits of these 'Think Pieces' and the futures cohorts that will follow, is that everyone is invited and offered the opportunity to challenge, comment and debate on the issues that are being addressed.'


Notes to editors

  • For press enquires contact Howard Crosskey in the RIBA press office 020 73073761.
  • The 'Think Pieces' on the Future of Education will be published on the Building Futures website at 00:01 on the 29 March.
  • Visit to read, comment and debate on all five 'Think Pieces'. 
  • Follow Building Futures on Twitter and join the mailing list to find out about upcoming events and projects, by emailing, putting 'subscribe' in the subject line.
  • The viewpoints published on the Building Futures website are not representative of the RIBA and do not constitute official policy.
  • Building Futures is the think-tank of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Established in 2002, it stimulates and facilitates discussion on the future of the built environment and its impact on society. By looking at economic, socio-political and environmental factors, Building Futures considers the bigger picture and provides a platform for discussion through publications, workshops, exhibitions and events, as tools to provoke debate.
  • Read the executive summary or the full report of 'The Future for Architects?' on the Building Futures website.
  • The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members. Visit  and Follow us on Twitter for regular updates on all things architecture